Employees at a Chevron refinery in California are on the fifth day of a strike against their company, in what they say is a fight for better compensation and work schedules.
About 500 workers, represented by United Steelworkers Local 5 and located in the city of Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area went on strike Monday. A day before the strike, the company replaced those employees with non-union laborers.
In a news release posted Sunday, USW said its members have been on the job without a contract since Feb. 1 and that on Feb. 25, the union had reached an agreement with the oil industry on wages and working conditions. But each of USW’s 200 units bargain locally before a contract is ratified, the release noted.
“It’s disappointing that Chevron would walk away from the table instead of bargaining in good faith with its dedicated workforce,” Mike Smith, chair of the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program, said in the release.
“USW members continued to report for work throughout the pandemic so our nation could meet its energy needs,” he said. “They deserve a fair contract that reflects their sacrifice.”
Reuters reported that Local 5, citing the higher cost of living in the Bay Area, asked for an additional 5% pay hike over the 12% increase reached in the national agreement. Reuters said Local 5 also asked Chevron to increase staffing so its workers wouldn’t have to work 60 hours or more a week.
USW announced yesterday that contract negotiations with the company would resume early next week.
Reporting Courtesy of Sean Hagerup for Labor Radio
Image Courtesy of Roo Reynolds on Flickr